The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers

Viking. Sept. 2022. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593464786.
Gr 9 Up–Sass contributes a solid addition to the YA romance genre with this fairy tale-esque story of one boy on a quest to find his Prince Charming. Online, Micah Summers is the anonymous illustrator of “Instaloves,” an Instagram of illustrations, reimagining his 99 crushes. In person, he is the never-been-kissed son of a famous hockey player, resident of a swanky penthouse (where he sleeps under his perpetually unfinished mural), and former star of his family’s short-lived reality TV show. His quest to find Boy 100 (whom, he promises his best friend Hannah, he will finally ask out) takes him and his friends all over the city of Chicago, finding clues, swoon-worthy moments, and finally a happily-ever-after fairy tale kiss with Prince Charming, Grant. However, when Micah finds his bond with his new friend Elliott to be overwhelmingly strong, where does that leave his fairy tale? This is a well-written, sweet YA romance, with a solid foundation and well developed characters. Micah and his love interests (Grant and Elliot) are all white, while his best friend Hannah is Black, as well as one of the few heterosexual characters in the book. There are a few scenes where Micah and Grant participate in safe, consent-positive heavily implied sex. This novel also explores realistic expectations when it comes to relationships and insecurities in juxtaposition with over-the-top gestures and sweet Cinderella moments.
VERDICT Sass has undoubtedly joined the ranks of breakout queer YA romance authors such as Steven Salvatore and Jason June. This is not one to miss. Recommended first purchase for all collections serving teens.

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